There is yet another sighting of black water discharge in Niagara Falls on the U.S. side today.
The Niagara Falls Water Board has confirmed that this morning's waste water discharge is "likely weather related."
According to the DEC website, the discharge has overflowed into the river for about eight hours -- an estimated 1,500 gallons per minute.
The DEC confirms with 7 Eyewitness News it is investigating the discharge from Monday morning.
"Niagara River, Niagara Falls is one of the great treasures not just of WNY, but of all of America," Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said Monday. "The infrastructure of our water supply here in Niagara Falls and in WNY is old. We need a major infrastructure bill. Hopefully that's one area where the Congress and President can work together. We all agree we need new infrastructure."
Less than a week ago, there was another discharge of black, smelly water in the Niagara River, which the Water Board also cited heavy rains as the cause.
The maximum penalty for violating New York State's water quality standards in $37,500 per day, per violation.
— Josh Bazan (@JoshBazan) October 9, 2017
The Niagara Falls Water Board released this statement today:
"On Monday, October 9, 2017, a wet weather event – heavy and prolonged rainfall – in Niagara Falls resulted in a discharge/overflow from the NFWB’s wastewater system. As with other recent overflow events, this resulted from the volume of flow into the NFWB wastewater system exceeding the system’s existing storage and plant processing capacity. NFWB has no way of controlling for color or turbidity with respect to the overflow water during a wet weather event.
Such overflows happen because the existing wastewater treatment facility has a treatment capacity of approximately 60 million gallons over the course of a day. This capacity limit is impacted by the outdated carbon filter system through which flows must pass for treatment. Most modern wastewater plants treating waste streams similar to what the NFWB plant treats use a biological – not chemical/physical with carbon-filtration – treatment process. NFWB’s system lacks substantial storage facilities, so when flows exceed the plant’s treatment capacity due to heavy rain, a discharge or overflow cannot be avoided. NFWB is examining long-term solutions to these issues, including converting its wastewater treatment plant to a biological technology, and constructing additional storage capacity, to reduce untreated or partially treated wastewater overflows.
This overflow was immediately reported to DEC officials, pursuant to their recent instructions. NFWB continues to work to optimize its existing wastewater treatment system, and is committed to providing the best treatment possible using its existing technology.